The cost to drive the Dulles Toll Road goes up Jan. 1, 2019. For a two-axle vehicle, it will change to $3.25 at the Main Toll Plaza, a seventy-five cent increase; and it will increase to $1.50 on the ramps, a fifty-cent increase.
The toll rate adjustment is the first since 2014, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which operates and maintains the Dulles Toll Road (DTR), and the Dulles Airport Access Road. MWAA also manages construction of the Silver Line project.
The 2019 toll adjustments are primarily necessary for financing Phase 2 of the Silver Line construction project, stated Airports Authority Board Chairman Warner Session in a statement released by MWAA.
The report adds the decision came “after careful consideration of public input received at the three toll rate public hearings held this summer, the public comments received on-line and the recommendation of the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee.”
The official "Dulles Toll Road Proposed Toll Rate Increases Report on Public Comments” cites that during the public comment period, 181 individuals and three organizations submitted a total of 190 comments to the Authority. In response to the then proposed toll rates, 23 comments addressed the unfairness of the rate increase, 109 comments discussed the impact on them personally, and 28 presented ideas for alternative sources of funding instead of rate increases. In addition, 20 comments expressed general opposition to the rate increase. A total of 7 comments agreed with the rate increases as proposed.
The report states comments cited that unfairness stemmed, "from the burden that the toll rates place on users of the DTR in that they are funding almost half of the construction cost of the Silver Line project. A significant part of that burden, the comments stated, should be allocated to residents and businesses throughout the entire metropolitan area who will benefit from the new Silver Line but are not being asked to fund its construction."
As for the impact of the rate increases, the report stated some commenters mentioned they were on fixed incomes, the increases would make the road unaffordable for their use and they'd need to use other roads. Residents north of the DTR shared, "that the toll at the mainline toll plaza is a major disincentive for drivers traveling between Interstate 495 or Route 123 and Route 7 to use the DTR and that these drivers, instead of using the DTR, are using their local streets."
MWAA states the next planned toll rate increase is not until 2023.